Connecting to BisonNet (wireless) or network jacks in the dorms

Gallaudet Technology Services provides wired network in dorm rooms as well as wireless network service (BisonNet) throughout most areas of campus. Members of the Gallaudet community and their guests are free to use this service and, by attaching to the network, agree to abide by the University Technology Policy.

While many computer types and devices have been tested with the system, we really don't have a way to test every piece of technology that's out there. With that said, most systems will work just fine provided they have a few basic functional requirements:

  • A functioning wireless adapter (802.11a/g/n)  OR a network adapter connected to the wall jack in your dorm room
  • A web browser (Firefox, IE, Safari, Chrome)
  • Knowledge of how to select a wireless network on your device

Additionally, we strongly recommend that, whenever possible, computer systems and mobile device have the following software packages installed, properly configured, and updated:

  • Current version of the operating system
  • Antivirus software
  • Firewall

Even though strict compliance of these recommendations is not enforced, should your device display signs of being vulnerable to or infected by malicious software, your network access may be blocked until the issue is resolved.

How to connect and register your device:

* You must have a valid, functioning Gallaudet login ID to complete this process.  If you have forgotten your password go to to reset your password before continuing.
* If your system is connected to a network jack in your dorm room, skip to Step 3.

  1. On your device, locate the Wireless Network Configuration settings.
  2. You will be presented with a list of available networks. Select BisonNet from the list.
  3. Depending on your device, the "Network Device Registration" page may automatically open (many phones and tablets do this). If that doesn't happen, open your browser and the page will be displayed.
    Device Registration Main dialog
  4. Enter your Gallaudet login credentials and click "Login" to continue.
  5. When successfully logged in, you will be presented with the registration management page (below) where you'll be able to add and remove personal and sponsored guest devices associated with your account.
    Device Registration Authorization Dialog

The MAC address (the unique ID of your system pulled from its wireless card) of the device you are using is displayed in a green bar near the top of the page.

  • If this is a personal device, click "Add to your device list".  The MAC will be copied to the proper field.  Enter a friendly name for the device (something that makes sense to you, should you need to identify it later) and click "Add Device"
  • If you want to register this as a guest device, click "Add to guest device list".  The MAC will be copied to the proper field.  Enter your guest's name, e-mail, address, and a friendly name for the device.  Click "Add Device for Guest".  On the next page, enter your name, e-mail, and phone/pager number and click "Register As Guest".
  • At this point, the system will reconfigure itself to support your device.  After a few minutes, reconnect (or disconnect and reconnect) to the BisonNet wireless network.  You can test that things are working by opening a web browser and visiting your favorite site.

How to manage your registrations or register a different device:

  1. If you need to add a device other than the one you're using, connect to the registration portal ( and log in.  From the management page (same as above), enter the required information (device and MAC for personal devices; guest name, e-mail, device name and MAC for sponsored guests) and click the appropriate button to add the device.
    • If you're unsure how to find the MAC on your system, consult the link at the top of the registration portal, "How to find the MAC address of your computer" <>  Should you have a device that's not included in that FAQ, consult Google or the manufacturer's web site.
  2. To remove a registered device, log into the portal, located the device you'd like to remove and click "Remove this device".

At this point, the system will reconfigure itself to support your device. After few minutes, reconnect (or disconnect and reconnect) to the BisonNet wireless network. You can test that things are working by opening a web browser and visiting your favorite site.

** If you used to connect to the temporary network "CCA-Phaseout", go into your wireless network setup and delete or "forget" this network. If not, your system may attempt to connect to this old network as you move around campus.

Common Questions

What systems are supported?

We have tested the system with a variety of wireless devices: Apple iOS ("iThings"), Android phones and tablets, MS Windows platforms (XP, Vista, Windows 7/8), Apple OSX , desktop Linux (Ubuntu), and Sony PS3 game consoles. Other systems will probably work as long as they have a functioning web browser.

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I don't see BisonNet as a network choice.

If you don't see any networks, make sure your wireless adapter is turned on. (On phones, make sure "Airplane mode" is turned off.) If you see other networks, try moving to another area in or near one of the campus buildings. If you see other networks, but not BisonNet, open a Help Desk ticket and report your location so we can investigate.

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When I reconnect after registration, my browser takes me back to the Device Registration. I know I've logged because all of the screens look just like what's in the document above.

Try refreshing your browser as some systems maintain page information.  Forcing a refresh ignores that local data and grabs a fresh version from the server.

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I just added a device and it seems like it can't connect to the network.  What gives?

After adding a device (personal or sponsored), a new IP address will be assigned.  You can either wait a few minutes (up to about 5) or disable and re-enable the device's wireless network adapter.

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I can connect to the network but then the connection drops before I'm prompted to register my device.  (When I connect, my browser gives me an error saying it can't connect to the web site.)

When a system connects to the network, it performs basic tests to make sure that things are OK.  Most systems do this quite efficiently and are easily satisfied with being able to receive an IP address.  Others want to perform additional testing such as trying to reach a remote web site before giving the green light to continue.  These additional tests will typically fail because we need you to go through the registration process before jumping onto the Internet. 
If this happens with your device, you can manually add your device by connecting to the registration portal ( from a computer or other device that has been successfully registered.
While we try to make sure that all of the services offered work with the vast array of systems that show up on campus, we simply don't have the ability to verify every platform and software version.  As we are able to identify workable solutions, we update our systems.  In the interim, the workaround noted above will get you on-line without further issue.

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Is there a limit to how many devices I can register?

Yes.  5 personal devices and 3 guest devices.

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How long is the registration period?  (How long is this information maintained?)

The registration period for personal devices is 45 days; 5 days for sponsored guests.  You will be prompted to re-register after this period.

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Every 45 days?  That seems kind of short.

Perhaps a little, but there are some good reasons for doing this: The refresh cycle for technology is fairly rapid these days.  Be it due to upgrade, loss, or damage, the replacement device will need to be registered and the old unit removed.  Thing is, this level of maintenance is something that many people (not all, but enough to bring it up as point of discussion) drop in the to-do pile and never get around to actually doing it.  As each user is limited to five personal devices, maintaining data for unused systems can prevent you from adding something new.  We're just trying to keep the place tidy.  Then there's the security of your property.  By registering your device frequently, you're providing a record of ownership information that can (and has) been used to locate lost or stolen equipment.  Finally, there's a cost to the management and maintenance of this information, so setting up an automatic expiration is deemed good housekeeping since devices that are no longer in use are removed.

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What's with this "sponsored guest" thing?  Why would I use it?  Why don't you just have an open network for visitors?

I'm with you; I'd love to just have an open network and let anyone that wants or needs Internet access hop on and enjoy this wonderful bandwidth we have on campus. Thing is, Gallaudet is responsible for what happens on the network and there's quite a bit of legislation defining the rules we must abide by. Much of that comes down to accountability and in order to achieve that, there needs to be some sort of approval process. The cool thing is that you are able to grant access for your friends and visitors in a pretty simple fashion. 
And on that note comes the gentle reminder that it is your responsibility to inform your guests of the acceptable use policies associated with connecting to the Gallaudet network.  Ultimately, you are both responsible for activities performed on sponsored guest devices.

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If I register a device for my guest, what do you do with their e-mail address?

Ideally, nothing. However, if that system shows signs of a virus infection or malicious software or if you play outside the rules of the Acceptable Use Policy, we would like to have a means to contact you. The other option is, of course, blocking your access outright. Most people don't like doing things the hard way. (We sure don't.) Rest assured, we are not providing this information to anyone -- no spam lists, mailing lists, cold call services, nothing - and it is removed from the system when the registration expires.

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My iPhone broke and I got a new one and the system is asking me to register again.

Each system - phone, tablet, notebook - has a unique ID. Even though you have restored all of your data to the new phone, it still "looks" different to the network. Just register the device (and remove the old registration if you want to be tidy) and you'll be on your way.

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I gave my old computer to my brother and I won't have it on campus any more. Do I have to do anything to remove it from the Gallaudet system?

Not necessary. If a device doesn't show up on the network for a while (about 6 weeks), it's removed from the system. Of course, if you bring it back after that period, you'll need to register it again.

Keep in mind that this registration will count against your device limit.  It's a good idea to remove it from the list, but not mandatory.

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How do I find the MAC address on my ... ?

If you need to manually add a device to your list, you need to know the MAC address of the system.  Here's a link that will walk you through most of the common systems (PCs, laptops, tablets and phones, game systems, etc.) : .  It's not inclusive of every piece of equipment available on the market, so you may have to do a little work to figure out where to find the address on, for example, your Internet-connected TV.  In such cases, Google continues to be your friend and will no doubt provide you with what you need.  If that still doesn't help, check the manufacturer's web site or give their tech support a call.

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Is the Clerc Center still on a different network?

Those at the Clerc Center (faculty, staff, students) will connect to the ClercNet network and see a very similar registration and management system. 

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I'm a faculty/staff member that works at both the Clerc Center and the University.  Do I have to register twice?

If you have tasks at locations on the Gallaudet Campus and in Clerc Center areas, you'll only need to register your device(s) once.  You will, however, want to set up your device to recognize the  BisonNet and ClercNet networks because both are not available in all locations.  By setting up both networks, your device can attach to either one.

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I'm sure I've already registered my laptop but when I plug it into the jack in my room I'm being asked to register again.  What's wrong? 

Nothing is wrong here.  If you use your laptop while connected to BisonNet (wireless) sometimes, and others, you plug into a network jack (in your dorm room), you will need to register twice.  The reason for this is that the MAC address (that unique identifier that was mentioned in the procedure above) is based on the network card that is being used.  When you're on wireless, your system has a different identifier than when connected to a jack and "looks" different on the network.

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Things just aren't working for me. Is there someone that can give me a hand?

The Technology Help Desk can get you moving in the right direction.

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